Tag Archive | Brooklyn Bridge

Tom Fruin’s Watertower

Tom Fruin Water Tower
Watertower, 2012 (Found Plexiglas, Steel, Bolts 20 x 10 x 10 feet) Photo By Geoffrey Dicker

It’s always fun to stumble upon public works of art. When I saw photos on the web of Tom Fruin’s Watertower – which looked like a Mondrian painting in the sky to me – I knew I had to see this gorgeous sculpture in person.

According to the artist’s website, Fruin, who often works with “reclaimed and discarded materials, has composed Watertower from roughly one thousand scraps of plexiglas. It includes such details as interior and exterior access ladders and an operable roof hatch. The locally-sourced plexi came from all over New York City — from the floors of Chinatown sign shops, to the closed DUMBO studio of artist Dennis Oppenheim, to Astoria’s demolition salvage warehouse Build It Green! NYC. Illuminated by the sun during the day and by Ardunio-controlled light sequences designed by Ryan Holsopple at night, this beacon of light is a tribute to the iconic New York water tower and a symbol of the vibrancy of Brooklyn. Watertower opened June 7th, 2012 with daily light shows beginning at dusk and continuing to morning.”

Geoffrey and I headed out to Brooklyn early yesterday evening with an idea to catch the sculpture both in natural daylight and perhaps also after dusk, since it is illuminated from within by artificial lighting and obviously looks amazing. We took the 8th Avenue line from Manhattan to the first stop into Brooklyn (High Street – Brooklyn Bridge) and walked north toward the water as Cadman Plaza turns into Washington Street, and Washington then Ts off into Plymouth street, where you’ll find the beautiful, riverside oasis known as Brooklyn Bridge Park, just adjacent to the Manhattan Bridge.

Viewed from the ground, the Water Tower can be best seen from the park, but be aware that you won’t be able to get as close to it as you would think by these photos, which were taken with a zoom lens. And because the Tower is on top of a building, it disappears as you get closer. But it’s totally worth the price of a round trip subway ride and there are tons of cool little boutiques and restaurants, as well a thriving gallery scene, in that neighborhood, so why not make it destination trip one day this summer?

Tom Fruin’s Watertower will be on display until June of 2013. Situated on the rooftop of 20 Jay Street, the sculpture is viewable from the parks and streets of Dumbo, the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, FDR Drive and Lower Manhattan. 

Tom Fruin Watertower Night
Photo Courtesy of TomFruin.Com

Note: In 2014, Fruin installed second glass water Tower at 334 Furman Street in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Tom Fruin Water Tower 2

I took these photos on July 22nd, 2018, while stand near Pier 6 and facing east. This tower will also be lit up at night!

Tom Fruin Water Tower 2

The Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club: Because Summer Never Has to End!

A couple of weeks back, a FaceBook friend posted the innocent-but-completely-clueless observation, “What happened to summer?” into her newsfeed. And I was like, “(Friend’s Name) summer has been over for awhile now.” Because, fall. Fall! It’s not hot out anymore, but it’s also not really cold yet: it’s just time to unpack all the comfy sweaters and light outerwear from wherever you store it (me = the closet). Wearing shorts and flip flops is heretofore declared inappropriate!

If you are one of those folks who must be dragged kicking and screaming into the seasonal weather transitions, you can try keeping summer alive for a bit longer by visiting a fun and rather “hidden away” venue that I experienced for the first time just last night, called The Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club. Located on the north side of the Pier 17 mall, this unique outdoor establishment, which opened in June 2011, has maintained the “sandy beach” motif of its predecessor (the confusingly named Water Taxi Beach), and it also features a covered area where you’ll find long communal tables for dining and drinking, Pool and other and games. But let’s get real: the beach is where it’s at.

Photo By Anne Raso

Grab a beer, cocktail or glass of wine from the recycled driftwood bar (they also have a delicious hot apple cider with rum that I will recommend), find a place to sit, and just relax from your long day. Views of the Brooklyn Bridge are spectacular and you can even keep track of how long you’ve been drinking courtesy of the digital clock attached to the glowing red Watchtower sign just across the river. Convenient! Now that a wee chill is in the air, clusters of illuminated, white plastic love seats (quite sturdy, and not entirely dissimilar to this thing here) have been strategically arranged around crackling fire pits to keep you warm and smelling like a campfire once you head home. We enjoyed a variety of passed party snacks courtesy of our host that included burger sliders, gooey cheese puffs, mini bratwursts, tiny crab cakes with mango salsa and something involving puff pastry, warm brie, toasted almonds and apricot jam that was just out of control. You can view the full menu of Beekman’s traditional beer garden favorites at This Link.

Close Up of Those Illuminated Love Seats

While I am not much for hanging out in the bright sun, the beach at night is magical. And the beach at night in NYC on the edge of the river is like another world. I mean, how cool will you sound when you tell your friends that in the middle of October you went to an outdoor bar/restaurant with a little beach where you sat around a campfire on chairs that lit up like lamps while drinking hot spiked cider, eating delicious snacks and looking at all the pretty lights reflecting on the water. You will sound so cool! As an aside, I also really enjoyed the Classic Rock Radio soundtrack which took me way back to the good times with gems like “Baby Don’t Do It” (!!!) by The Band and the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” – a song with an insane saxophone solo that just takes off on its own little journey. Holy cow, I love this place. Treat me right, and I’ll bring you along next time. Because there will be a next time.

Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club is located at 89 South Street (South Street Seaport at Beekman Street) on the North Side of Pier 17. Be advised that you will actually be walking through a back alley and an employee parking lot before you arrive at your destination, so don’t freak out. Beach Club Hours are 11:30 AM to 3:00 AM Daily. Phone (212) 896-4600 for any further information.

The Brooklyn TV & Movie Sites Tour!


Manhattan Bridge (All Photos By Anne Raso)

The borough of Brooklyn, New York may be located just across a bridge from Manhattan, but that doesn’t mean most Manhattanites necessarily know much about what Brooklyn has to offer. Movie and TV production companies know all about Brooklyn, however, especially when it comes to scouting locations that can substitute on film for New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC and, well, sometimes they just want the place to look like they are filming in Brooklyn. On Location Tours, a company known for its guided bus tours of sites made famous by or featured in TV shows like The Sopranos, Sex & The City and Gossip Girl has just launched the Brooklyn TV & Movie Sites Tour, which is a terrific way to visit and learn some history about places you see in many of your favorite TV shows and films. And hey, it’s a great way to “travel” out of the city for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon!

Cafe Moutarde

Anyone who’s done a similar tour can tell you that your tour guide’s personality and depth of knowledge can make or break the tour experience for everyone on the bus. In our case, we were blessed with a lively and knowledgeable tour guide named Amadeo, who was both approachable and friendly but completely professional. As the bus set off over the Brooklyn Bridge, Amadeo broke the ice with a trivia contest that went on throughout the tour. He’d ask a question about a movie fact and whoever answered correctly would win a prize – a Blowpop sucker! The questions – such as which actor has won the most Oscars, which movies have tied for the greatest number of awards won by a single film, and which movie a particular quote came from – were lots of fun and not as easy as you would think (although Ms. Netflix here came home with five Blowpops in my purse). As we drove through the streets of Brooklyn, a video screen mounted at the front of the bus showed a clip of the movie scene filmed at whatever specific location we were stopped at, or driving by, which was helpful for jogging the memory, or, if you hadn’t seen that particular film, helping you make the connection. Neighborhoods we visited included Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Prospect Park, Downtown Brooklyn and Park Slope, among others.


Borough Hall

Sites we visited included the Brooklyn Bridge, (“I Am Legend”), The MTA Building (“Jack Goes Boating”), Gleason’s Gym (“Million Dollar Baby”), The St. George Hotel (“As The World Turns”), Cadman Plaza (“30 Rock”), Brooklyn Borough Hall “(“Catch Me If You Can,” “Mickey Blue Eyes”), The Brooklyn Inn (“Gossip Girl”), Gloria’s Flower Shop (“I Hate Valentine’s Day), Café Moutarde (“Julie & Julia”), Park Slop Armory (“Meet Joe Black”), Montauk Club (“Boardwalk Empire”), St. Augustine Church (“Mona Lisa Smile”) and dozens of others. Our tour made three stops were we could disembark the bus to look around and take pictures (Amadeo was very accommodating in offering to take posed photographs of the tourists on our bus, making sure they had a nice souvenir of their trip). We also made a brief lunch stop at Maybelle’s Café, which was featured in the Academy Award–winning film Moonstruck as the Cammareri Brothers Bake Shop.


Maybelle’s Cafe

After our lunch stop, Amadeo gave each of us a snack-sized Cheesecake from Junior’s Restaurant, which was featured in the first Sex & The City movie. Free cheesecake!


Tour Guide Amadeo Holds Tiny Junior’s Cheesecake

The Brooklyn TV & Movie Sites Tour was a great way to not only learn about and enjoy movie and TV related trivia about certain sites and landmarks, but also a convenient way to see new neighborhoods and a bunch of simply stunning brownstone homes. Whether you’re a die-hard movie fan or not so much, if you’re one of those New Yorkers who is looking for more ways to just get out of the city and see something new for an afternoon, this tour is for you!


Fort Greene Brownstones Seen on Sex & The City

Tickets for the Brooklyn TV & Movie Sites Tour are $42 for Adults and $24 for Children for a 3 hour tour (“A three hour tour…”) that Departs on Saturdays at 11:00 AM. Purchase Tickets for the Brooklyn tour at This Link . Read more about other On Location Tours and find out how to book one for yourself and your friends at This Link.